Ouch weblog: individual blog entry
6 Jul 07, 1:27 AM - What Makes One Disabled
Wow. There have been quite a storm of comments following my most recent post about the Social vs. the Medical Model of Disability. It appears the Medical Model isn't very popular anymore, because, as I understand, it treats PWDs as abnormal freaks who need to be cured and normalized, or otherwise put away in institutions. That doesn't sound very medical to me. That sounds like prejudice.
When I wrote about supporting the Medical Model, I was thinking more along the lines of this excerpt from Wikipedia:
The medical model of disability is a model by which illness or disability is the result of a physical condition, is intrinsic to the individual (it is part of that individual’s own body), may reduce the individual's quality of life, and causes clear disadvantages to the individual. As a result, curing or managing illness or disability revolves around identifying the illness or disability, understanding it and learning to control and alter its course."
I fully support the Social Model of Disability, but even if the whole world were fully accessible, my condition would still be disabling. There would still be a lot of regular activities closed off to me because of my arthritis. I still wouldn't be able to work outside of the home. I'd still have to take to my bed a lot. I wouldn't be able to go out dancing. Hence, I support medical science looking for better treatments and cures for arthritis. I can accept my disease, and embrace Disability Pride, but I'd still prefer to not have arthritis. My quality of life would be far better without it. I know there are lots of PWDs who don't feel the same way, and that's great. To each her own, I say.
Societal prejudice does greatly increased how disabled we are, but I think that in some cases, the disease alone can be disabling.
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